How Do I Choose the Best Cordless Nail Gun?

Judith Smith Sullivan

The best cordless nail gun will meet your specific building needs, as well as your budget, and should last you many years. Typically, cordless nail guns have a battery pack, nail magazine, and a gas canister. Choose a nail gun which has a long lasting battery. The size of the nail magazine and canister you will need depends on the size of your average project.

Nail gun being used to secure baseboard to a wall.
Nail gun being used to secure baseboard to a wall.

High-end, heavy duty, cordless nail guns are available as well as budget friendly models. If you only plan to use the gun occasionally, you can purchase a less expensive model. Professional remodelers, upholsters, carpenters, and others who work with a nail gun on a daily basis will probably need to by a higher quality gun. In the long run, it will save you money to purchase a cordless nail gun which can withstand constant use. A cheaper model may not last very long, and you will end up buying another anyhow, wasting both time and money.

Several types of nail guns are available, each made for difficult types of work: finishing, framing, brad nailing, and roofing. Each gun is designed to take specific nails. Some include useful features like an adjustable nail trough, for multiple sizes of nails, a jam clearing function, and nail depth adjustment.

Professionals who use a cordless nail gun frequently should choose a model with a coil magazine. These hold several hundred nails at one time. Stick magazines only hold 20 to 40 nails, which is adequate for hobbyists who only use the gun occasionally.

Similarly, a professional will need a large capacity gas container. The more gas, the longer the nail gun will run. When the gas runs out, it has to be replaced. If you do not plan to use the gun very often, you can opt for a smaller gas container.

The battery must also be long lasting. Look for a model which can charge the battery independent of the gun. Professionals will need to purchase one or two additional battery packs so that one can always be charged and ready for use. A hobbyist does not need multiple battery packs.

Some nail guns also come with important safety features, like a shield, to guard your hands and a two-step trigger. This type of trigger must be pulled while pressing the tip of the cordless nail gun into a surface before a nail is shot. For users who have little or no experience with nail guns, this safeguards against accidentally firing nails.

When you find a nail gun that suits your needs and your budget, check the company's return policy. A nail gun represents a significant investment, and if it does not meet your needs or fails to function properly, you will want to return it. Always keep your receipt or confirmation e-mail to simplify returns.

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